Bulletin N° 797
Subject : MAKING WAR in the past, the present, and in the future.
5 May 2018
Dear Colleagues and Friends of CEIMSA,
We find ourselves in the midst of a grim debacle, worldwide. I had the privilege of meeting Joel Kovel years ago during his visit to San Diego, California. He always exhibited a determined self-knowledge that translated into a lucid account of events of the day. It was a lucidity that was highly beneficial to those around him, as were his many writings.
We shall miss him.
Scholar and Activist Joel Kovel Dies at 81 in New York City
In New York City, antiwar activist, author and professor Joel Kovel has died at the age of 81. In the 1960s and 1970s, Kovel was a well-known psychiatrist who left the Albert Einstein Medical School out of his opposition to the corporate influence over medicine. He became a prolific writer and scholar, who was also active in the movements against the Vietnam War and nuclear proliferation. He was the author of more than 10 books about systemic racism, ecology and global warming and other topics. Kovel went on to run for the U.S. Senate in New York with the Green Party in 1998. He also ran for U.S. president against Ralph Nader in the Green Party primary in 2000. This is Joel Kovel, speaking on Democracy Now! in 2007 after his book “Overcoming Zionism: Creating a Single Democratic State in Israel/Palestine” was temporarily dropped by the University of Michigan, after it caused a controversy.
The 29 items below are a warning to CEIMSA readers of the difficult times ahead, when war, famine and chaos threaten the very survival of our species. The criminality in the “global marketplace” today is of a magnitude that boggles the mind and threatens to depress the spirit of authentic freedom and democracy, managed as it is today by the cynical fabrication of received “public opinion” in the depths of real private fears.
Professor emeritus of American Studies
Director of Research
University of Paris-Nanterre
Center for the Advanced Study of American Institutions and Social Movements
The University of California-San Diego
What Can Be Done?
Washington Enters War With Ease
by Paul Craig Roberts
It is up to Europe whether or not the Earth dies in nuclear Armageddon.
European governments do not realize their potential to save the world from Washington’s aggression, because the western Europeans are accustomed to being Washington’s vassal states since the end of World War 2, and the eastern and central Europeans have accepted Washington’s vassalage since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Vassalage pays well if all the costs are not counted.
By joining NATO, the eastern and central Europeans permitted Washington to move US military presence to Russia’s borders. This military presence on Russia’s borders gave Washington undue confidence that Russia also could be coerced into a vassal state existence. Despite the dire fate of the two finest armies ever assembled—Napoleon’s Grand Army and that of Germany’s Wehrmacht—Washington hasn’t learned that the two rules of warfare are: (1) Don’t march on Russia. (2) Don’t march on Russia.
Because of Europe’s subservience to Washington, Washington is unlikely to learn this lesson before Washington marches on Russia.
Netanyahu: Don’t Look Here, Where We’re Shooting Children—Look at Iran
by Juan Cole
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a notorious warmonger, serial liar and supremacist racialist who used to lead the closest thing Israel has to a fascist party until parties even more extreme got elected to parliament, is attempting to bamboozle the clueless Donald Trump into getting on a war footing with Iran.
Netanyahu’s breathless announcement that there was a potential weapons aspect to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program has been known for a decade and a half.
Netanyahoo To Again Cry Wolf - But Something Bigger Is Up
by Moon Of Alabama
U.S. President Trump wants to end the nuclear agreement (pdf) with Iran and wants to eliminated Iranian forces in Syria which support the Syrian government. Something is being prepared to make that happen. Last week General Joseph Votel, commander of CENTCOM - the U.S. military command for the Middle East, was in Israel. It was the first ever visit of a CENTCOM commander to Israel which usually works with the European command EUCOM. Yesterday former CIA director and now Secretary of State Pompeo visited Israel. A few hours later Israel bombed two ammunition depots in Syria which are supposedly related to Iran. This was a clear attempt to provoke Iran into some reaction.
The Israeli defense minister Lieberman just visited Washington DC and only today came back to Israel.
Laughing While Pulling the Trigger
by Dennis J Bernstein
Donald Trump has shown “sadism” against Palestinians who’ve turned to Ghandian protests but are still being slaughtered by Israel,
says Max Blumenthal in this interview with Dennis J. Bernstein.
Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author. His reporting on the brutalities of illegal Israeli occupation has set the standard for real reporting on the issue. Blumenthal has also reported on every aspect of the Israeli/US propaganda machine that works 24/7 to sustain the Israeli occupation.
Blumenthal’s articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, and The Nation Magazine. He also co-hosts the podcast Moderate Rebels.
Dennis Bernstein spoke with Max Blumenthal on April 19th.
Dennis Bernstein: I understand you were in the Gaza Strip recently. You were there just before the latest slaughter along the border fence [on March 30]?
Max Blumenthal: I was there just weeks before the Great March of Return, when Israeli snipers began shooting regular people in Gaza who marched to the border wall to protest their open-air imprisonment. Preparations were just starting for that march. I got the chance to interview the wife of a man who had been refused an exit permit to get treatment for cancer. He was forced to basically sit on his deathbed when he had a condition that could have been treated in the West Bank. He was one of scores of people documented by the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip who were refused exit permits and were forced to die. Some are wondering why people would rush the border and risk their own lives by walking into the teeth of Israeli snipers. You have to understand that every family in Gaza has a story like this.
DB: You tweeted a very disturbing video of Israeli soldiers shooting from behind this electric fence. One of the shots shows them shooting and laughing.
MB: The video was released by Breaking the Silence, a group of former and current Israeli soldiers who have confessed to crimes they have committed in the field. They obtained this video, which was taken through a sniper’s scope, showing a sniper shooting an unarmed man and then laughing and cheering about how much they enjoyed doing that. It really speaks to the perspective of average Israelis regarding people in the Gaza Strip. They just don’t see them as human, especially younger Israelis who haven’t interacted with Palestinians since the Gaza Strip was sealed off in 2006. Israelis interact with them simply as snipers or drone operators and only a small minority of the Jewish Israeli public sees them as human. There were some protests in Tel Aviv against the massacres that just occurred and one of the leaders of that protest, Tamar Sandberg, who is from a left-wing nationalist party called Meretz, was brutally demonized in mainstream Israeli media. A lot of Israelis who do have questions about what is happening tend to self-censor because the consequences are so high.
Dennis J. Bernstein is a host of “Flashpoints” on the Pacifica radio network and the author of Special Ed: Voices from a Hidden Classroom. You can access the audio archives at www.flashpoints.net. You can get in touch with the author at email@example.com.
Why Did the U.S. and Its Allies Bomb Libya? Corruption Case Against Sarkozy Sheds New Light on Ousting of Gaddafi.
by Joe Penney
Seven years after the popular uprising against Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi and the NATO intervention that removed him from power, Libya is extremely fractured and a source of regional instability. But while Congress has heavily scrutinized the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi a year after Gaddafi’s overthrow and death, there has been no U.S. investigation into the broader question of what led the U.S. and its allies to intervene so disastrously in Libya.
However, a corruption investigation into former French President Nicolas Sarkozy is opening a new window into little-known motivations in the NATO alliance that may have accelerated the rush to oust the Libyan dictator.
I Know Which Country the U.S. Will Invade Next
by Lee Camp
By the end of this column, it will be clear which country the United States will invade and topple next. Or failing that, it will be clear which country our military-intelligence-industrial complex will be aching to invade next.
We all want to know why America does what it does. And I don’t mean why Americans do what we do. I think that question still will be pondered eons from now by a future professor showing his students a video mind-meld of present-day UFC fighters booting each other in the head while thrilled onlookers cheer (not for either of the fighters but rather for more booting in the head).
But we all seem to assume that America—the entity, the corporation—has some sort of larger reasoning behind the actions it takes, the actions put forward by the ruling elite. And almost all of us know that the reasons we’re given by the press secretaries and caricature-shaped heads on the nightly news are the ripest, most fetid grade of bullshit.
Eurasia Torn Between War and Peace
by Pepe Escobar
Iran's top trading partner is China, while Tehran and Moscow have
been improving ties as the three countries move closer to cementing a solid
Two summits – the cross-border handshake that shook the world between Kim and Moon in Panmunjom and Xi and Modi’s cordial walk by the lake in Wuhan – may have provided the impression Eurasia integration is entering a smoother path.
Not really. It’s all back to confrontation: predictably the actual, working Iran nuclear deal, known by the ungainly acronym JCPOA, is at the heart of it.
And faithful to the slowly evolving Eurasia integration roadmap, Russia and China are at the forefront of supporting Iran.
China is Iran’s top trading partner – especially because of its energy imports. Iran for its part is a major food importer. Russia aims to cover this front.
Chinese companies are developing massive oil fields in Yadavaran and North Azadegan. China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) took a significant 30% stake in a project to develop South Pars – the largest natural gas field in the world. A $3 billion deal is upgrading Iran’s oil refineries, including a contract between Sinopec and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) to expand the decades-old Abadan oil refinery.
Trump Administration Sends a Dark,
Threatening Message to Kim Jong Un
by Alex Lockie
President Donald Trump's national security adviser, John Bolton, has said that the US will use Libya as a model for North Korean denuclearization — but it may have been a dark, even threatening message to North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un. Kim has displayed an about-face since he and Trump traded nuclear threats across the Pacific last year, now appearing to pursue peace and diplomacy broadly and willingly — though there has been little follow-through on several promises from the North Korean leader. So far, Kim has agreed to denuclearize and seek a peace treaty with South Korea, but he has not taken verifiable steps toward disarming. Though North Korea announced it would invite the US and South Korea to watch the dismantling of its nuclear test site, it has taken similar steps before only to back out of deals later. Other steps Kim has taken, like scrapping North Korea's special time zone, have been unilateral and unsubstantial but enough to warrant news coverage.
Imperial Road to Conquest: Peace and Disarmament Agreements
by Prof. James Petras
In recent years US imperial strategy has sought to lessen the cost of defeating and overthrowing independent countries.
The means and method are fairly straight forward. World-wide propaganda campaigns which demonize the adversary; the enlistment and collaboration of European and regional allies (England, France, Saudi Arabia and Israel); the recruitment, contracting, training and arming of local and overseas mercenaries dubbed “rebels”, or ‘democrats’; economic sanctions to provoke domestic social tensions and political instability of the government; proposals to negotiate a settlement; negotiations which demand non-reciprocal concessions and which include changes in strategic weapons in exchange for promises to end sanctions, diplomatic recognition and peaceful co-existence.
The strategic goal is disarmament in order to facilitate military and political intervention leading up to and beyond defeat, occupation, regime change; the impositions of a‘client regime’ to facilitate the pillage of economic resources and the securing of military bases, international alignment with the US empire and a military springboard for further conquests against neighbors and independent adversaries.
We will apply this model to recent and current examples of US tactical and strategic empire building in diverse regions, especially focusing on North Africa (Libya), the Middle East (Iraq, Palestine, Syria and Iran), Asia (North Korea), and Latin America (FARC in Colombia).
The White House-Mercenary Connection
by Lawrence Davidson
When the United Nations General Assembly met in December 1989, one of its most important achievements was passage of the Mercenary Convention – the “International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries.” The Convention was subsequently ratified by 35 countries and went into effect as an international treaty in 2001. Considering that, historically, mercenaries have, with rare exception (today’s Swiss Guard at the Vatican), proven to be lawless killers who both spread and thrive on anarchy, this move by the General Assembly was a prescient one. The problem was, and still is, that many of the world’s “great powers” are remarkably short-sighted and refuse to sign on. Among these is the United States. In the meantime the mercenary business has become a worldwide big business. So much for the UN Mercenary Convention.
Now, some 29 years later, we have a president of the United States, Donald Trump, who thinks the world’s most notorious mercenary – an American by the name of Erik Prince – can help achieve the misguided goals of the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East. It would seem that the answer to that perennial question, “Will they ever learn?” is no.
That Collapse You Ordered...?
When civilizations crumble,
it tends to fast-track
by James Howard Kunstler
I had a fellow on my latest podcast, released Sunday, who insists that the world population will crash 90-plus percent from the current 7.6 billion to 600 million by the end of this century. Jack Alpert heads an outfit called the Stanford Knowledge Integration Lab (SKIL) which he started at Stanford University in 1978 and now runs as a private research foundation. Alpert is primarily an engineer.
At 600 million, the living standard in the USA would be on a level with the post-Roman peasantry of Fifth century Europe, but without the charm, since many of the planet’s linked systems — soils, oceans, climate, mineral resources — will be in much greater disarray than was the case 1,500 years ago. Anyway, that state-of-life may be a way-station to something more dire. Alpert’s optimal case would be a world human population of 50 million, deployed in three “city-states,” in the Pacific Northwest, the Uruguay / Paraguay border region, and China, that could support something close to today’s living standards for a tiny population, along with science and advanced technology, run on hydropower. The rest of world, he says, would just go back to nature, or what’s left of it. Alpert’s project aims to engineer a path to that optimal outcome.
I hadn’t encountered quite such an extreme view of the future before, except for some fictional exercises like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. (Alpert, too, sees cannibalism as one likely byproduct of the journey ahead.) Obviously, my own venture into the fictionalized future of the World Made by Hand books depicted a much kinder and gentler re-set to life at the circa-1800 level of living, at least in the USA. Apparently, I’m a sentimental softie.
Finally Confirmed: US Created ISIS Terror Group
Declassified secret US government document reveals US created ISIS as a tool to overthrow Syria's President Assad
From the first sudden, and quite dramatic, appearance of the fanatical Islamic group known as ISIS which was largely unheard of until a year ago, on the world's stage and which promptly replaced the worn out and tired al Qaeda as the world's terrorist bogeyman, we suggested that the "straight to beheading YouTube clip" purpose behind the Saudi Arabia-funded Islamic State was a simple one: use the Jihadists as the vehicle of choice to achieve a political goal: depose of Syria's president Assad, who for years has stood in the way of a critical Qatari natural gas pipeline, one which could dethrone Russia as Europe's dominant - and belligerent - source of energy, reaching an interim climax with the unsuccessful Mediterranean Sea military build up of 2013, which nearly resulted in quasi-world war.
The narrative and the plotline were so transparent, even Russia saw right through them. Recall from September of last year:
Syrian MP For
Aleppo Laughs At BBC Propaganda
Watch - Hardtalk -
Sackur, the UK's Lord Haw
Haw interviews Fares Shehabi MP, Member of the Syrian Parliament for Aleppo.
Posted April 28, 2018
“There are 280 Brits on their way from Douma now to Europe, they're going back to England.”
'Cruise Missile Left' Complicit in American Escalation Toward World War III
by Danny Haiphong
“Both Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald joined the imperial chorus that the Syrian government bore responsibility for an attack that had yet to be proven even happened.”
“Cruise Missile Left” Complicit in American Escalation Toward World War III
“The cruise missile left has aligned with the Democratic Party and the intelligence agencies against Trump and have dropped any anti-war, anti-imperialist, and anti-capitalist tendencies in the process.”
The US-led alliance of imperial nations has waged war on Syria for eight years with the hopes of overthrowing the independent Arab nationalist state led by President Bashar Al-Assad. Syria was believed to be another domino destined to fall in imperialism’s great power game to contain any international threat to its rule. Former NATO general Wesley Clarke revealed US plans in 2007 to use the September 11th attacks to justify the overthrow seven countries in five years: Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. Most of these countries have since been thrown into chaos by way of US imperial expansion in the Middle East and North Africa. Clarke’s admission should be enough to clarify the Trump Administration’s most recent airstrikes on Syria as an escalation of the broader war for US hegemony in the region and the world.
“Imperialism wants Assad out because he stands in the way of US goals to dominate the region.”
Yet many who reside in the United States view the war on Syria from the lens of the US empire. This lens is articulated by both US political parties, their foreign partners, and their faithful corporate media servants. These expert liars claim that Assad is a butcher and the Syrian government a brutal “regime.” They don’t talk about how the US military occupies a large portion of Syria, coincidently in the country’s most resource rich region . Also ignored is the fact that US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey have loathed the Syrian government for its decision in 2009 to construct an independent pipeline with Iran and Iraq to transport precious gas and oil resources to European markets. Never mind that the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and Israel to name a few have funded and armed hundreds of thousands of jihadist mercenaries for seven years in hopes that they would rid of pesky Assad and his nationalist policies. Imperialism wants Assad out because he stands in the way of US goals to dominate the region and keep Iran, Russia and China’s rise to global prominence at bay.
Syria is the number one target of US imperialism. The ongoing war there has the potential to spark a confrontation between great powers unforeseen in human history. In many ways, this confrontation has already begun. Russian forces in Syria have daily confronted US-backed jihadists armed with American-made weapons. US coalition strikes have killed Russian military personnel . Just prior to Trump’s airstrikes, seven Iranians were murdered in Syria by Israeli fighter jets . Russia has spent years enhancing its military capabilities in preparation for a major confrontation with the US, whether in Syria or at its own borders with NATO.
Abby Martin Interview Critical of Israel
Blocked by YouTube in 28 Countries
Where They Tell You Not to Look
by Craig Murray
At the very beginning of the of the Skripal incident, the security services blocked by D(SMA) notice any media mention of Pablo Miller and told the media not to look at Orbis and the Steele dossier on Trump, acting immediately to get out their message via trusties in the BBC and Guardian. Gordon Corera, “BBC Security Correspondent”, did not name the source who told him to say this, but helpfully illustrated his tweet with a nice picture of MI6 Headquarters.
The Silence Of The Skripals - Government Blocks Press Reports - Media Change The Record
by Moon Of Alabama
There has been no recent reporting on the Skripal case in which a British-Russian double agent and his daughter were poisoned in Salisbury, England. There even seem to be attempts to change the public record of the case. The British government alleged that the Skripals were poisoned by Novichok, a deadly nerve agent, and blamed Russia for it. There are stiill many open questions to ask but the British media, otherwise not afraid of 'door stepping', are curiously uninterested. We already noted in early April that the British press was throwing Novi-Fog™ onto the public. It was repeating outrageous and illogical claims from "security services" but did no genuine reporting on the Skripal case.
Leaving US Vaults
Signs of Upcoming Currency War and Armed Conflict
by Peter Korzun
The Turkish government has made the decision to repatriate all of its gold reserves that are currently housed in the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). Overall Turkey was storing 220 tonnes, valued at $25.3 billion, in the US, which it repossessed on April 19, 2018. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toughened his stance against the US dollar (USD), declaring that international loans should be made in gold instead of the American currency. Ankara is seeking to reduce dependence on the US financial system. The gold’s homecoming was partly prompted by the US threats to impose sanctions if Turkey goes through with the signed deal to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems.
This is a dramatic move reflecting an international trend. Venezuela repatriated its gold from the US in 2012. In 2014, the Netherlands also retrieved its 122.5 tonnes of gold that were stored in US vaults. Germany brought home 300 metric tonnes of gold stashed in the United States in 2017. It took Berlin four years to complete the transfers. Austria and Belgium have reviewed the possibility of taking similar measures. Few people believe the US Treasury’s assurances that the 261 million ounces (roughly 8,100 tonnes) in official gold reserves that are stored in Fort Knox and other places are fully audited and accounted for. The Federal Reserve has never been fully and independently audited. The pressure for a full, independent audit of all US gold reserves has always been resisted by the government and in Congress. Nobody knows if the gold is really there. What if the vaults turn out to be empty? It’s wiser to bring your gold home while you can, rather than to just keep on wondering.
“Talking About History Is Way to Liberate America”:
New Memorial Honors Victims of White Supremacy
An Ode to Eugene V. Debs and the End of Capitalism
by Jordan Riefe
Once upon a time, the word “socialist” wasn’t considered a dirty word. In fact, in 1912, roughly a million people (6 percent of the popular vote), voted for a socialist for president. He is the subject of filmmaker Yale Strom’s new documentary, “American Socialist: The Life and Times of Eugene Victor Debs,” in limited release in New York from April 27 through May 3 and in Los Angeles from May 4 through May 10.
A straight chronology using archival photos and footage, Strom’s movie tells the story of the pioneering union leader and founding member of International Workers of the World (IWW). Early in his career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party with a focus on union issues and workers’ rights. He co-founded the American Railway Union (ARU), which galvanized a wildcat strike over pay cuts into a nationwide Pullman Strike that landed him six months in prison. Emerging from incarceration, he was the founding member of the Socialist Party of America and ran for president five times between 1900 and 1920. The first political figure jailed for anti-war speech, Debs was sentenced to 10 years in prison for urging people to resist the military draft of World War I.
He told the court: “Your Honor, years ago, I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element, I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”
From: Jim O'Brien via H-Pad
Sent: Monday, 30 April, 2018
Links to Recent Articles of Interest
"What Was the Vietnam War About?" By Christian Appy, New York Times, posted March 26.
The author teaches history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and has written extensively on the Vietnam War.
"Renaming the 1948 War: Partition, Dispossession, and Fragmentation" by Richard Falk, ZNet, posted March 25.
The author is a professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University.
"Welcome to the Dick Cheney Administration" by Stephen M. Walt. Foreign Policy, posted March 23.
The author teaches international relations at Harvard University.
BEYOND War" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, 30 April, 2018
Subject: Put Antiwar Billboards in Washington, D.C.
Sent: Wednesday, 2 May, 2018
Subject: [MCM] The cancer-industrial complex, explained
Wall Street Admits Curing Diseases Is Bad for Business
by Lee Camp
Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein examines a report on his company by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations before a 2010 hearing on Wall Street investment banks and the financial crisis. (AP)
Goldman Sachs has outdone itself this time. That’s saying a lot for an investment firm that both helped cause and then exploited a global economic meltdown, increasing its own wealth and power while helping to boot millions of Americans out of their homes.
But now Goldman Sachs is openly saying in financial reports that curing people of terrible diseases is not good for business.
I wish this were a joke. It sounds like a joke. In fact, I’ll show you later that it used to be one of my favorite jokes. But first, the facts.
In a recent report, a Goldman analyst asked clients: “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” Salveen Richter wrote: “The potential to deliver ‘one-shot cures’ is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy. … However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies. … While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow.”
Where do "we" get off condemning Assad, or ANY other head of state, for butchery?
First Bomb the Wedding, Then Bomb the Rescue Workers
by William Boardman
(29 April 18)
Textbook terrorist tactic and war crime – who cares?
n an impoverished, remote mountain village in northwest Yemen, the wedding celebration was still going strong when the first airstrike hit around 11 p.m. on April 22. The Saudi attacks killed the bride firstdeath toll to “at least 33 people.” The nearest hospital was miles away in Hajjah. The only two cars in the village were knocked out by the bombing. The first casualties reaching the hospital arrived by donkey after midnight. The hospital, one of 13 in Yemen run by MSF (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders), had two ambulances that drove back and forth well into daylight bringing in the wounded sometimes six at a time. MSF reported receiving 63 casualties, none armed, none in uniform:
The injured had mainly lost limbs and suffered shrapnel wounds. At least three patients required amputation, including two brothers, who each lost a foot. By early morning, many residents of Hajjah had come to the hospital to donate blood. In two hours, 150 bags were collected to treat the wounded.
This was yet another American-sponsored war crime. The US has committed war crimes of this sort all on its own since 2009 in Pakistan (and subsequently in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and elsewhere). The US president surely knew such attacks are war crimes under international law as well as US law, but who was going to hold him accountable (any more than anyone has held his predecessor or successor accountable)?
48 is just too many . . . .
Saudi Arabia criticised for 48 beheadings in four months of 2018
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wants to soften Saudi Arabia’s image.
Saudi Arabia has executed 48 people in the past four months, half of them on non-violent drug charges, Human Rights Watch has said.
The US-based group urged the kingdom to improve what it called a “notoriously unfair criminal justice system”. Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s highest rates of execution: suspects convicted of terrorism, homicide, rape, armed robbery and drug trafficking face the death penalty. Rights experts have repeatedly raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom, which is governed by a strict form of Islamic law. The government says the death penalty is a deterrent for further crime.
Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, said: “It’s bad enough that Saudi Arabia executes so many people, but many of them have not committed a violent crime. Any plan to limit drug executions needs to include improvements to a justice system that doesn’t provide for fair trials.”
The Ghosts of 'New Democrats'
Are Haunting Us
Then-President Barack Obama talks with former President Bill Clinton and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett at the White House in July 2010. Obama was meeting with business leaders to discuss new ways to create jobs and strengthen the partnership between the public and private sectors to make new investments in the clean energy industry. (Pete Souza / White House)
Twenty-five years ago, the so-called New Democrats were triumphant. Today, their political heirs are eager to prevent the Democratic Party from living up to its name. At stake is whether democracy will have a chance to function. A fundamental battle for democracy is in progress—a conflict over whether to reduce the number of superdelegates to the party’s national convention in 2020, or maybe even eliminate them entirely. That struggle is set to reach a threshold at a party committee meeting next week and then be decided by the full Democratic National Committee before the end of this summer.
To understand the Democratic Party’s current internal battle lines and what’s at stake, it’s important to know how we got here. After a dozen years of awful Republican presidencies, Bill Clinton and running mate Al Gore proved to be just the ticket for the corporate wing of the Democratic Party. Clinton settled into the White House in early 1993 as the leader of pathbreaking New Democrats. Many media outlets hailed him as a visionary who had overcome left-leaning liberalism to set the party straight.
The CIA Got Macron Elected,
It Looks Like They Wrote His Big US Speech Too
by Gilbert Doctorow
In this essay, I offer a detailed textual analysis of the speech which French President Emmanuel Macron delivered before the Joint Session of Congress, Washington, D.C. on 25 April 2018, in line with the kind of textual analysis which I performed on major political documents signed by heroic East European freedom fighters in 2007 and 2009, which were in fact authored by US intelligence operatives.
I maintain here that a substantial part of Macron’s speech was either written by or coordinated closely with these same intelligence services for the purpose of exerting maximum influence on domestic US politics by reinforcement of centrist American predispositions from respected foreign actors. It is also essential to explain how M. Macron became president of France in 2017 with the connivance of these same intelligence services. I will attempt to do that in the second part of the essay.
I freely admit that my argumentation is circumstantial and relies heavily on hunches that today are sagely phrased as “most likely” scenarios. But whereas the “most likely” reasoning of Theresa May is used to justify unprecedented verbal attacks on Russia and military attacks on the sovereign state of Syria, my reasoning, if unpersuasive, has no other consequence than to lose a reader here or there.
On the other hand, if I indeed have touched gold, as I believe is the case, then the “special relationship” between the United States and France that Emmanuel Macron celebrated in his speech to Congress assumes a far more sinister nature than anyone in our mainstream and alternative media has so far identified.
Syria & Iran Prove There’s No Chance For North Korean Peace
(Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)
by Brandon Smith
There is a saying in geopolitics that peace summits are generally a perfect time to prepare for war. This thinking stems from the military philosophy of Sun Tzu, who believed that when a nation is weak it is important to appear strong, and when a nation is at its most dangerous it is important to appear weak or “diplomatic.” Sun Tzu also often praised the virtues of distraction and sleight of hand, not only in war, but in politics as well.
I would note that Sun Tzu and the Eastern “sleight of hand” methodology is not only a mainstay of Chinese as well as North Korean thought, but also required reading for Western covert intelligence agencies. It is important to fully understand this methodology when examining the East vs. West paradigm, because almost everything you see and hear when it comes to relations with countries like China and North Korea is theater. Their governments have hidden schemes, our governments have hidden schemes and the globalists manipulating both sides have plans that trump everything else.
Keep all of this in mind when you hear about the sudden and almost inexplicable announcements of peace summits with North Korea in May or June between Pyongyang and the Trump administration.
Looking at the scenario purely from the perspective of political motive, it’s difficult to discern why Trump has been so obsessed with North Korea since he first entered office. North Korea has always had nuclear capability as well as the ability to deploy those nukes in one form or another against the U.S. North Korea has also always been involved in further nuclear testing and missile testing. The idea that such testing today is somehow a “violation” of arbitrary international standards and etiquette is absurd. Almost every nation in the world is engaged in military expansion and development.
Then again, if one only looks at surface rhetoric and policy, it is difficult to discern why the Trump White House is equally obsessed with Syria and the Assad regime. One of the primary driving forces behind the Trump election campaign was the idea that this was a candidate that would break from establishment elites in the tradition of perpetual war. Trump’s criticisms of past presidents and their handling of Iraq and the Middle East was supposed to represent a sea change in American policies of aggression. Instead, his cabinet is now laced with the cancers of neo-conservative warhawks (fake conservatives) and globalist banking proponents.
The U.S. was supposedly mere months away from completely removing its military presence from Syria. Yet a well timed “chemical attack” on a Damascus suburb, blamed on Assad, gave Trump a perfect rationale for keeping troops in the region as well as escalating the use of force through missile bombardment. The original claim under President Obama was that we were in Syria because of the growing threat of ISIS (a terrorist movement supported by western covert intelligence). Now, the new enemy is the target globalists always intended — the Syrian government itself.
African Issues: What Is Going On In Algeria, Libya, Sudan
A site of the Il-76 crash in Algeria
by Evgeny Satanovsky
Events in Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Saudi Arabia’s confrontation with Iran are by no means exhausted in what is happening presently in the Middle East. The situation, observed in the Maghreb and the Horn of Africa, are no less important for understanding the situation in the region.
The present article, based on materials from A. Bystrov, is a look at what is going on in Algeria, Libya and the Sudan.